It was recently reported that Duncan Keith tore his meniscus and will be out four-six weeks. Luckily, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner went through successful surgery yesterday. The Blackhawks are optimistic he will return to action quickly. Forget about the six weeks, I think that he can be back in about four weeks. Please nobody panic about this because trust me, this injury benefits the Blackhawks a lot more than it hurts them.
Marian Hossa spoke about the injury and said "He played the most minutes of everybody the last few years, and definitely, somehow it's going to show on his body, so, it's better to repair something like that in the beginning of the season and miss a few weeks, and then be ready for the middle and end run for the playoffs." I one hundred percent agree with this statement. Keith has played a hard working 715 minutes in last years playoffs and has already played 146 minutes this year. An average of 24 minutes and 21 seconds per game. He in his his tenth season in the NHL, and averages 25 minutes and 19 seconds per game! That is more than insane. He has played well over 30 minutes in multiple games. This guy is enormous for the Blackhawks but there is a very good reason why him being out is a positive for them.
It’s not easy playing 25 minutes per game. Ask anyone in the NHL and they will tell you that. Obviously, Keith loves it. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. He puts in the work to make 25-30 minutes look easy. He loves playing, he loves working, and he loves hockey. Unfortunately, it is time for him to take a break. Coach Q said that Keith had been bothered by the injury for a while, but he did not know for how long. That just shows how badly Keith wants to play. In my opinion, it is good that he was unable to fully play through the injury. Playing through injuries could most likely, only cause the injury to get worse. If Keith was out for any longer I think there could be a problem, but with this short term injury I do not think it is that dreadful. Also, Keith playing about 25 minutes every game while being is very unsafe, especially because he is 32 years old. The Blackhawks most definitely don’t want Keith having a career ending injury because of him playing through an injury. These four-six weeks of rest will be much needed for Keith because he has played so much already. I know that Keith is going to come back better than ever and once again be the Conn Smythe trophy winner he is.
This injury is also bad for the Blackhawks because of him being such a leader and because of just his playing ability. However, the Hawks do have some solid depth that could perform well during Keith’s absence. David Rundblad will be the man that fills in at Keith’s position. Since Keith got a huge percentage of the defensive minutes more people will be needed to step up. The Hawks already have two other stars, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook that are always good and will be able to step up during this time. Trevor Daley and Trevor Van Riemsdyk will be needed, and will be needed now. They have been solid so far and with more minutes I think they both will be able to make an impact for these next four-six weeks. The Blackhawks are going to need to find an extra defensive man to fill the open spot on the third line, but with this talented coaching staff there won’t be any problems. Keith is an irreplaceable player but those second and third line defensive men are about to get more minutes and are about to prove to the world that they are just as good as Duncan Keith.
You may not agree with me that this injury is a lot better than worse for the Blackhawks but I know it is. Rest is nothing but needed for Duncan Keith, and our young depth players get to show the are meant for this league. The Blackhawks have performed well during crucial injuries before and I know this will be no different.